By Patrick O'Brian
The 17th novel within the best-selling Aubrey/Maturin sequence of naval stories, which the New York occasions ebook Review has defined as "the most sensible ancient novels ever written."
Having survived a protracted and determined event within the nice South Sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin go back to England to very diversified conditions. For Jack it's a chuffed homecoming, at the very least at first, yet for Stephen it really is disastrous: his little daughter seems to be autistic, incapable of speech or touch, whereas his spouse, Diana, not able to undergo this example, has disappeared, her apartment being taken care of by way of the widowed Clarissa Oakes.
a lot of The Commodore occurs on land, in sitting rooms and in drafty castles, however the roar of the nice weapons isn't faraway from our listening to. Aubrey and Maturin are despatched on a extraordinary decoy venture to the fever-ridden lagoons of the Gulf of Guinea to suppress the slave alternate. yet their final vacation spot is eire, the place the French are mounting an invasion that might try Aubrey's seamanship and Maturin's resourcefulness as a mystery intelligence agent.
the delicate interweaving of those disparate topics is an success of natural storytelling by means of one among our best dwelling novelists.
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Additional info for The Commodore (Aubrey/Maturin, Book 17)
Thomas, you are incorrigible,” said Anne fondly. ” I nodded, having no idea what she meant. As we neared the Tower I stared up at the forbidding wall with its narrow slits. From the squared battlements protruded tall spikes topped with what looked like bundles of blackened rags. I squinted in order to see better. ” I asked, imitating Anne’s accent. She burst out laughing. “Yes, it is a menagerie—of criminals and traitors! ” Emme hissed. ” As I stared, the raglike bundles resolved themselves into skulls with torn flesh like strips of stiff leather.
What monstrous creatures were here? In the dimness I glimpsed the tawny hide of a beast straining against an iron collar, the fur around its face like a giant ruff, sharp teeth bared. Feeling my gorge rise with panic, I pushed my way out of the Tower and ran into the courtyard, gasping the damp air. All the way back to Whitehall, everyone talked of the queen’s menagerie. The roaring beast I had glimpsed was called a lion. The catlike wailing came from a leopard, one of four in an iron cage, Emme said.
I cannot, Your Majesty,” I replied, for I was trembling all over. “Without your gracious help,” I added. Then the queen took my wrists and lifted me to my feet. Her hands were slim, her fingers long and tapered. I counted four rings on each hand. “Do not fear to look upon me, child. Think of me as your mother now,” she said. It was a command, though softly spoken. I lifted up my eyes to meet hers. They were bright and pale. She smiled and it was like the sun beaming from behind a cloud. I no longer saw graying hair against her cheek.